When it comes on gastronomy you already know a few of our specialities: waffles, chocolate and French fries. But Belgium has also a few national dishes that every visitor should experiment during his stay. Hereunder a selection of our most important dishes that you should easily find in common restaurants.
Certainly our most popular dish: mussels with fries. Although the season is starting originally in September, the the Zeeland mussels are lately available as from August (or even July). They are cooked in different ways : nature, with crème, marinière (white wine), with garlic or even with beer! Consumed with a beer their prices vary from 18 till 25€.
Often called Carbonade flamande, this dish is made of steamed beef and onions cooked in a beer sauce. Many ingredients will be used to spice this sweet-sour sauce: spiced bread, musterd, laurel, thyme.. An old brown beer is generally used. The bitternes of the beer is often neutralized with brown sugar.
This speciallity of Gent comes form the Middel Age. According to the historians it was the favorite dish of Charles V. It is made of fish or chicken with potatoes, vegetables and creme. Served in a soup plate or sometimes even in a tureen, it is eaten with bread.
Invented by Joseph Niels in 1924, this dish is made of a first quality minced beef, mayonaise, eggs and capers. It is a perfect meal for a summer dinner in Belgian terrace. In the old neighborhood Sablon, you can taste the original recipe in Joseph's grand son's restaurant: Aux Vieux Saint Martin.
Often served with a sausage, the Stoemp is a typical dish of the capital. It consists of mushed potatoes combined with one or other vegetables: carrots, leeks, cabbage or spinach. It is a typical dish consumed in cold winter days. You can often order it as a side dish. Stoemps are eaten in Brussels since the 19e century.
Considered in Belgium as a typical dish from Brabant, the pre-boiled endives are rolled in a slice of ham and cooked as gratin with a béchamel sauce. It is typicaly served with mushed potatoes.
There are of course many other dishes that could have been listed here. Aside these classic dishes, Belgian chefs offer also new and modern cuisine. Today, the country counts 135 Michelin star chefs and if those are all above your budget you will certainly appreciate our national Frites!